Photo Credit: Kathleen Fox
One of three works made in response to the exhibition As Far As My Legs Can Carry Me held at the Terezin Memorial Museum, Czech Republic in 2008. Funded and organised by the Terezin Memorial in collaboration with the Cezk and Slovak Surrealists. Three threads of thought permeate the work: My unwilling departure from my own homeland, South Africa. My Jewish heritage and the implications on it of the Holocaust. The 8,000 Jewish children taken from the Prague Jewish Quarters and incarcerated at Terezin while waiting deportation to the death camps. A fraction survived. The title of the works refer to the death ovens and the German children's tale, Hansel and Gretel by Brothers Grimm. I used a child's suitcase as a part of each work, recalling abandonment of all that's known and loved, of being in transit, of the poignancy of a child's journey into an unknown and possibly dangerous space. The doll's head and hair used in this piece came into my possession through chance encounters. The small head is face down, smothered in wax, revealing the Star of David imprinted into the bisque on the nape of it's neck. The hair, embedded in wax, falls protectively over the head. The head was manufactured by a Jewish firm Kammer and Reinhardt who were active in Germany in the 1880's to early 1900's. The hair belonged to Carline Weller and was cut off in 1927 when she was 28 years old, on the advent of her marriage.
8cm x 19cm x 13.5cm
child's school case, wax, doll's head and hair